Indian Court Orders 104 Sites Censored Based On The Say So Of The Indian Music Industry

from the censorship-by-any-other-name dept

Torrentfreak notes the interesting timing on this one. Just as MPAA boss Chris Dodd was in India talking up the importance of stricter copyright laws (like SOPA), an Indian court ordered a SOPA-like block of 104 sites that were declared as “dedicated to infringement” by the Indian Music Industry (IMI). What’s interesting is that as you look down the list of blocked sites, they include many that appear to focus on movies, not music — so it’s not clear why IMI gets to decide what’s infringing and what’s not.

Reading some of the details, it’s pretty clear that the sites in question were not given a chance to present their side in court. In fact, it appears that even the IMI bosses admit that they haven’t yet proved that all of those sites are infringing:

Taking the sites to court is not humanly feasible: when we went after one site, we got the impression that the owner was in the US, based out of the Bahamas, and it was very difficult to get him to respond. Our person has to pose as an advertiser before the owner came on an email, and we eventually found that it was a young kid in Rajkot, and the entire process took six months. Going after 104 sites – can you imagine the effort, the time and the money spent in chasing this? The better route is to establish comprehensively that each ofthese 104 sites is pirating content, and we’re doing that – as a body and not a company – and it’s easier to interact with the ISP now.

In other words, shoot first, deal with the fallout of incorrect censorship later.

Not surprisingly, the head of the IFPI (the international RIAA) cheered on this result:

“This decision is a victory for the rule of law online and a blow to those illegal businesses that want to build revenues by violating the rights of others,” said IFPI CEO Frances Moore in a statement.

But in a clear signal that for the music and movie industries even the toughest of anti-piracy measures are never enough, Moore says that current developments are a good start.

“The court ruled that blocking is a proportionate and effective way to tackle website piracy,” Moore noted, adding that the Indian government should now “build on this progress” by advancing further legislation to tackle digital piracy.

The situation here seems extreme and disproportionate. Not only have the serious problems with DNS and IP blocking been described concerning internet security, but it’s pretty clear that efforts like this don’t work. There are already reports of sites from the list reappearing under different domain names, and all the court order is doing is spreading the game of whac-a-mole. Amusingly, the same Indian music exec who made the claim above about how it’s impossible to actually track down these sites, later (in the same interview) admits he doesn’t want to shut down these sites, because they have a “passion for music” and he’d like to work out deals with them. Of course, getting a court order to block access to their existing sites is a funny way to say “hey, I’d like to work with you.”

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Comments on “Indian Court Orders 104 Sites Censored Based On The Say So Of The Indian Music Industry”

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64 Comments
Skeptical Cynic (profile) says:

The content industry wants no law but those that are stop first prove later.

The content industry has show time and time again that all they care about it forcing us to pay as much as they want. They are as close to true communism as any government has ever been. Control what we information get by what method we get that information and then also pay to get that information via a “tax”.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: The content industry wants no law but those that are stop first prove later.

Please don’t misuse my name like that! All I want is a free market where value sets the price, not a government-granted monopoly on information.

–Capitalism

Please don’t misuse my name like that! Opressing the rights of the workers for the sake of the rich in charge of big corporations, and corrupt politicians? That’s absurd.

–Communism

Controlling the actions of people for the sake of the privileged few in charge? Yeah, sounds about right!

–Fascism

Niall (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re: The content industry wants no law but those that are stop first prove later.

I think you will find that your definition of Fascism also fits a lot of Stalinist/Maoist/Jungist ‘communist’ settings as well – but given that it’s corporate domination by the rich, Fascism works best here. Just the fascists don’t have a monopoly on 1% domination tactics…

That Anonymous Coward (profile) says:

“businesses that want to build revenues by violating the rights of others”

You mean like putting out compilation cd’s and not paying the artists?
You mean by demanding the right to see what everyone has to make sure you’ve gotten your money each time?

Considering the Indian Government has recently decided to tax Angel Investor capital at 30%, its sorta clear they are divorced from reality.
http://slashdot.org/story/12/03/18/2043236/indian-government-to-tax-angel-funding

Why is it India can stand up to make life saving drugs in the face of tons of pressure but are blind that the “entertainment” industry is doing the same thing?

Anonymous Coward says:

this is happening in just about every country you can think of, except the likes of China and Iran. why would India be any different? i just hope that the World’s governments are happy now that the greatest communication platform on the planet is in the control of, of all things, the fucking entertainment industries! i know it’s the most essential of all services that no one and nowhere can do without but……….

Rikuo (profile) says:

Re: Re:

One of them is lovepaki.com From the sound of that, its a porn site, possibly dedicated to Middle Eastern pornography. I can’t actually know for certain unless I do some work and check the damn site. Ya know, what you should do before declaring that someone is a criminal and must have their website blocked.

“we eventually found that it was a young kid in Rajkot, and the entire process took six months.”
That one sentence has so much information about how these guys think, that I’m gonna give them an award for Most Efficient Use of Language.

1) They’re spending massive resources to shut down websites run by KIDS.
2) They are wasting a lot of time running after KIDS.
3) They consider KIDS to be the enemy, instead of potential customers. So, does this mean, they focus entirely on selling music to a generation that is getting older and older, and won’t bother AT ALL selling to kids?

Chosen Reject (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:

You’re on the right path, but you didn’t go far enough to really use his analogy against him.

Start with this: It took six months to convict a murderer, so we locked up all suspects with no further evidence.

But that’s not complete either, since they didn’t really lock up the suspected pirates. All they did was shutdown their speech and make life difficult.

So it’s more like: It took six months to convict a murderer, so we confiscated the phone numbers of the remaining suspects with no further action.

So not only are they pissing on due process, they’re also not doing anything to stop further law breaking. If they went with real due process they’d get the evil lawbreakers to stop. Instead they violate due process, make the suspects life difficult, but do nothing to stop the activity they view as bad. They’re being both ineffective and pissing people off while doing it. If instead they went with due process, they’d both not make people angry and put a stop to the activities they don’t like.

That Anonymous Coward (profile) says:

Re: Re:

Wow your a fucking moron.

Imaginary Property compared to murder – Nice try.

Its to hard for us to manage our government granted monopolies, make other people pay to do it.

If an innocent man is put into jail incorrectly for murder, that means the law was wrong and need to be addressed. Maybe the standards used to reach the decision were bad. Like assuming every site on a list is pirating music, without actually having to prove it.

But I guess thats why the **AA’s are so stupid, they think like you do. Black and White and no depth.

Richard (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:

But I guess thats why the **AA’s are so stupid, they think like you do. Black and White and no depth.

I think the MPAA would disagree with that last point – they would point out that they’ve had colour films for quite a while now and have even managed 3D in recent years – that B/W silent film in 2D that won the Oscar was just an aberration!

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re: Re:

I’ll have to remember the next time I’m hiking and come across an animal marking their territory by scent that all property is really imaginary so they’re wasting their time.

Property is a concept that exists in nature well outside of human legal constructs. The only difference really is that societies have evolved to the point where the government defends property in addition to the property owner defending property.

Conversely there is no natural conception of copyrights or any other so-called intellectual property right.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re: Re:

Oh you certainly told him. Because as we all know, committing murder and copying digital music files are exactly alike and comparable. /s

The only thing here which could be seen as artificial is your apparently LACK of understanding and/or intelligence in general.

Conflating murder and copyright infringement. I guess the “child pornography” approach wasn’t sufficient so you’re changing things a bit to see just what people are willing to allow you to get away with.

silverscarcat says:

Re: Re:

How many times must I sing that song?

Wrong, wrong, wrong, wrooooong! Wrong, wrong, wrong, wrooooong! You’re wrong! You’re wrong! You’re wrooooooooooong!

“An innocent man charged with murder was incorrectly put in jail.

Ergo, no one should be charged with murder and all laws against murder should be thrown away.”

You *DO* realize, and, this might be a stretch, considering that it’s you, but the policy of “Innocent until proven guilty” has a secondary point to it? That it’s better to let 50 guilty men go free than put even ONE innocent man (or woman or child) behind bars, right?

Richard (profile) says:

Re: Re:

An innocent man charged with murder was incorrectly put in jail.

Ergo, no one should be charged with murder and all laws against murder should be thrown away.

No – Ergo the processes which caused this to happen should be reviewed and the law adjusted to ensure that the chances of it happening again are reduced.

And since the case we are actually discussing here concerns not the law of murder but rather a law of questionable morality and even more questionable efficacy then abolishing it might well be a reasonable response.

Anonymous Coward says:

“In other words, shoot first, deal with the fallout of incorrect censorship later.”

What fallout? I can’t hear you censored sites complaining about being censored, which means there is no fallout!

And who cares if the reason I can’t hear them complaining is because I censored them so I can no longer visit their websites/blogs?

Skyblaze (profile) says:

Waahhh

Is it me, or did IMI’s response to this sound a lot like this:

‘But actually doing investigation and fact-checking is *hard*. Can’t we just have them all shot? Would be much easier… No? Oh, well, take down their sites then.
We’ll sit here on our mountain of gold and laugh at the little people as they scurry around trying to save their thieving websites.’

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